Sunday, June 3, 2007

30-5-07 TT 29.51. Splits 6.58, 14.12, junction 27.19. Warm. Steady NWer. May has been incredibly mild and warm.

This was an odd climb because I actually came off twice, once just after the tough 2nd test and once on the corner leading into the 4th test where I was blown off earlier this year. But neither off this time was because of wind: I just wasn’t concentrating, my wheel slipped and I didn’t have the legs to recover. Odd that even with these two offs (I got on again immediately) I still made the sealed road in under 30 mins. Normally when things start going badly I slack off and finish with a time far worse than I would have got if I’d kept up the pace.

The thing that redeemed this ride was the descent to Red Rocks – no dabs from the Golfball (you can easily get round the gate at the top of the Tip Track) until my front wheel hit the gate at the bottom. Not that this is too much to skite about, but usually I dab somewhere – most recently I’ve had to repeat one of the climbs. I keep meaning to take a saw to that sodding gorse bush on the right at the start of the third climb, but if you can get up enough momentum to scoot across the loose stuff onto the grass verge on the right after it, you’re on firmer ground. That is, until it rains and the grass becomes wet. The final descent is always a little sketchy and this time I did snake about a bit during the last 20 metres, but managed to hold it together. So it was hardly a fast or immaculate descent, but no dabs is no dabs.

Went round the coast to watch Anna in the cross-country southern zone at Houghton Bay. She’d come 3rd in her year at the Island Bay School cross-country. Today she came 11th – same as last year. You need to get in the top 10 to progress to the inter-zone, so I think she was a bit disappointed. But I thought she did well, because she was in the last third to begin with but hauled everyone in on the climb! She doesn’t have a sprint, so gradually hauling people in is her strength and she just ran out of course in which to do it.

29-5-07 Picked up bike from Seatoun and road home via the south coast.

28-5-07 Biked round the Mirimar Peninsular to Seatoun after work to the Hill’s for dinner. A beautiful night – mild southerly. Got to test my new light properly. The flash mode is rather slow, but having it on permanently uses much more power. I can see the fun of night riding – the atmosphere is great – but really good lights would be necessary off-road.

25-5-07 TT 30.30. Splits 7.10, 15.00, junct 27.30. Huh, a bad one. It hurt. I was tired and biking round to see Jonty at Revolution Cycles to pay him for the rigid forks I’ve been using on my commute bike for 6 months now. So I was nearly just going to bike up Happy Valley, but felt guilty about passing up the climb, so up I went when I knew my heart wasn’t in it. The weather was perfect, but far too hot. At the beginning of the 2nd half of the climb I got within 20 metres of a guy walking briskly, but as the tests hit I couldn’t haul him in. He got to the road about 20 metres ahead of me – which indicates how badly I was going.

Went down via the Sanctuary and Rollercoaster to Revolution Cycles, then back via the road and Happy Valley. Bought a better front light off Jonty because commuting at night is getting scary.

24-5-07 In to work over Mt Albert and Mt Vic. Fuck the traffic in Newtown. There I am talking an extra 10 min and going up two unnecessary hills to avoid the main roads, but my life is still endangered by twits in vehicles. New Zealand drivers are the worst in the world.

22-5-07 TT 28.51. Splits 6.48, 14.08, junct 26.30. Steady northerly but not gusty or strong. A good climb – had the stamina to keep up the pace. Felt good to get in under 29 mins – a clean final gate helped. Down Sanctuary, Car Parts, Planet (cleaned). Chatted to girl on a Mt Biker at the windmill who was heading for Red Rocks and asked me the way. Half thought about going back and showing her, but since she was pushing her bike up the road I figured she’d find it tough going and I’d have been waiting for her all the time. Also, I got the vague vibe that she would have been more than happy to team up, so I gave her directions and wished her well.

Went home via the road and Durham St – supposedly a quiet Brooklyn back road, but just when I’m on it clogged by oafs in trucks and vans. One just about backed into me.

13-5-07 Anna’s birthday. Mum was here with her car so got to go for a quick ride away from the TT. Left the car at Karori Park and went up Wahine onto the Skyline track to Mt Kaukau. Trundled along but had to turn back at the bottom of the final climb up to Mt Kaukau due to time constraints. A bit frustrating, but still a good ride. I monstered most of the climbs, only slipping off on one steep wet grassy bit (I recall it being a nemesis before) and a part where I missed that the bike track went left and followed the walking track up a rocky, grassy vertical bit. Amazingly, I got up and only came off where the track levelled and I couldn’t make the turn. There was one bit of a descent I bailed on – again this was on the walking track while the bike track went off round the side. I seem to recall balking at it once before, too.

The weather was overcast with a slight breeze – a great day to do this track. I turned back about one and half hours into the ride: Karori Park to Kaukau is further than you think. It took about an hour and a quarter to get back.

6-5-07 Round south coast and up Long Gully climb. Couldn’t get over Hell’s gate. Tried 10 times! Couldn’t generate enough momentum so was relying on grip and balance, both of which deserted me. Frustrating. Found the Long Gully climb long and hard. A steady NWer head wind, but not gusty. A dog came up behind me and barked at the farm as I was starting the climb from the farm up to Te Kopu, which has never happened to me before. That climb is steep and I found it very hard going. I’m not as fit as I was. Still, I made it (using bottom gear) and then made the Te Kopu trig using the grass between the wheel ruts. I was in cloud and drizzle by now. Surprised five horses on the road to the Golfball. Spooky.

Headed down Red Rocks, as was feeling better. Cleaned hard climb first pop by fluke – my front wheel went onto a bad line at the top and lifted but somehow the back gripped and I got over the lip. By rights I should have come off. Sometimes luck does play a part in Mt Biking – it’s not always ability. The 3rd climb took two goes because of that sodding gorse bush on the right near the bottom. It’s right in the line and trying to go up on the gravel is risky because it’s so loose. Cleaned the descent to the gate – I love the sound of my front wheel hitting the gate! Home round the coast. The whole ride took about two and half hours, which feels long because I recall in the good old days going up the TT down to RR then round the coast and up LG-Te Kopu-Golfball and down the TT in about 3 hours – so I’m really slowing up.

4-5-07 TT 32.04. Splits 7.00, 15.00. Perfect weather – sunny, still – but no breeze so too hot. Blew out. No energy so gave up. Put my hand in a gorse bush at the top gate so made a has of it and came off 3 times after the gate!

Down Sanctuary, Car Parts, Planet (cleaned). Wet and slippery. Back via Happy Valley Road. Cars and trucks managed to spoil it.

1-5-07 Road ride round Mirimar Peninsular via Ben Wilde’s to repay him for paying my medical expenses after I crashed at Makara Peak and smashed my helmet.

30-4-07 Bike in via Mt Albert and Mt Vic. Cold and dark and rain coming home.

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